NUKE Compositing Best Practices

Taught by Victor Perez

Course Number:
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Original Run Date:
April 2015 
7 hours 27 minutes 
Sometimes the creative process of digital compositing can be extremely complex specially when artists have too many technical tasks to focus on at the same time. In order to preserve an efficient workflow within a shot and across a whole project a smart methodology is required.

Preserving high quality standards is as much important as deliver your best shot on-time. Being efficient should be as natural as breath, you don’t need to focus on it: you just do it without even thinking about that while your focus is where you really need it the most.

After years handling the highest quality standards in major VFX houses, prof Victor Perez brings you a selection of his best practices, procedures, methods, suggestions, advice, optimizations, tips and tricks; covering the main areas of compositing that you find in your day-by-day basis to become an efficient compositor and make your NUKE™ scripts look like Swiss clockwork.

Victor Perez is a senior visual effects artist with over 12 years of production experience in computer graphics, digital grading and visual effects along different countries. Nuke™ Official Certified Trainer by The Foundry®. As a senior digital compositing artist and 2D Technical Director he has a fine combination of both artistic and technical understanding of film postproduction and visual effects. Member of Visual Effects Society and usual collaborator of Nukepedia. Victor has worked and researched with Oscar® winner studios such as Cinesite and Double Negative between others. His film credits include The Dark Knight Rises (Dir. Christopher Nolan), Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows: Part I (Dir. David Yates, 2010), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Dir. Rob Marshall, 2011), John Carter (Dir. Andrew Stanton, 2012), Lés Miserables (Dir. Tom Hooper, 2011).
NUKE Compositing Best Practices
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

Understanding mind maps structures and organizing a nodal graphic representation of a compositing: from ideas to nodes. The complete guide to understand the Node Graph and its iconography. The art of backdropping and labeling. All the Merge operations explained.

Class 2

Concatenation of transformations: theory and practices for reducing the impact of filter and antialiasing issues. Bypassing nodes that break the concatenation. Applying transformations within other non-transformation nodes: Roto & RotoPaint.

Class 3

Implicit vs. explicit compositing streams: handling channels on a multichannel structure, masking procedures and issues, optimization of multistream parallel operations. Parallel vs. serial structure of a script, pros and cons.

Class 4

Handling a CG Multipass: implicit and explicit structures for building the Beauty: pros and cons. Single multichannel OpenEXR files vs. one-pass-per-file philosophy: Handling, compacting and expanding options. The additive and the subtractive synthesis of compositing the CG Beauty.

Class 5

The Boundary Box (BBox) demystified. How to handle it for optimal results. Nodes that modify the appearance of the Bbox: preserving or discarding, cropping and handling the information beyond the format. The Merge and the BBox. Autocrop unuseful areas. The BBox through the 3D space.

Class 6

FX and process extraction. Methods for blending separated grain structures and the overall grain workflow issues. Building a Luminance Keyer. The Fringe and the Solarisation curve.

Class 7

Node optimizations: presets and defaults. Task oriented open structures vs. Groups/Gizmos enclosed structures. Implementing Nuke original nodes: rebidding a LightWrap open structure. Python generators from given data in nodes: the standard projection setup automatized. Recommendations for creating templates (Coverage Map Template case study), creating script template menu calls, focus on the CG multipass “universal” template.

Class 8

Relink procedures for handling files and paths structures within the Read node: Search & Replace on text editors, python scripting for automatic replacement, building a Relink node and its Nuke Expressions, script-relative paths, Search & Replace panel (using Frank Rueter’s Nukepedia Python), OS-relative path replacements.

Class 9

ScanlineRender node optimizations: the “bg” input, creating ID passes, separating elements from renders, holdout operations and layering, integrating native deep image compositing options from Nuke 3D space renders, the disjoint-over operation. Channel optimization.

Class 10

4K plates in a 2K workflow: data extraction and patch generation. The Python “loop’” for modifying knobs in several nodes at once. The Relight structure and the filtering issue: generating manual antialias, the double fusion relight pass merge method. Alpha masking for Merge operations. 3rd Party Python, Gizmos and Plugins.